Friuli in the northeastern corner of Italy is a hotbed of skin-contact and orange winemaking. In the small, rugged Carso sub-region, Sandi Skerk is one of the superstars of the movement, working with indigenous varieties, wild yeasts and minimum intervention.
So far, so natural. But where Sandi differs from many of his contemporaries - and the reason his wines are more supple and approachable - is his use of oak for fermentation rather than concrete eggs or amphorae. This adds a touch of soft creaminess to the structure imparted by the skin contact.
It’s a winemaking choice that drives the rich complexity of this gorgeous orange wine, made from a blend of Vitovska, Malvasia, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio (which contributes the pink-orange colour). The nose is bursting with fruit - blood orange, grapefruit, white currants and raspberry - plus savoury geranium and red pepper. In the mouth it’s full-bodied, spicy and complex, revealing mandarins, toasty almonds and mineral notes... but remaining fresh through to the long, elegant finish.